What do Australia, Celtic knots, felting and dog hair all have in common? The First Annual Fiber Arts Show at One Lupine, of course! From subject matter to fiber content, these items emerge in the work of 14 artists that will be exhibiting their work from June 5th through July 31st at One Lupine.
When Jodi Clayton decided that it was time to expand the showroom space to house her collection of hand-dyed yarns and fibers to the space adjacent to the One Lupine Gallery, we decided to pair the move with a fiber arts show that celebrated fiber work from the local community. After the invitation went out, we received a wide variety of entries. All but one of the participants lives in Maine. Each submission is its own take on what can be a work of fiber art: a hank of hand spun yarn, a reverse Shibori Ruana, elaborate hand knit apparel, a wall piece made of felted merino wool over burlap…the examples are expansive.
What is fiber art? A formal definition of fiber art refers to fine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn. It focuses on the materials and on the manual labor on the part of the artist as part of the works' significance, and prioritizes aesthetic value over utility.” Perhaps that definition has the danger of making invisible the human element in an art object - something that some viewers need to connect to. A more encompassing definition can be found on the Maine Fiber Arts website: http://www.mainefiberarts.org/about-maine-fiberarts/defining-fiber-art. For the show, we wanted to include objects with intrinsic value (an art piece that is valued in and of itself) and objects with use value (apparel or quilts) in order to elevate the type of object that typically falls under the category of “craft.” We also wanted to include the process of fiber making as an art form (thus the inclusion of handspun yarn; spinning as a fine art) elevating something that was once considered women’s work or a blue collar occupation to a higher status…not to mention that all of the entries to the show were created by women. Have I lost your attention yet? Enough of this art-speak anyway… this is a public exhibition and we want everyone to enjoy it! Come decide what fiber art means to you - and figure out where the dog hair fits in.